Land Use Code text amendments related to Accessory ground mounted Solar Energy Systems

Boulder County Community Planning & Permitting services are available virtually 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Tuesday. The office is open to walk-in customers (no appointment necessary) Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9 a.m.–2 p.m. On Tuesdays the department is open by appointment only from 12:30–4:30 p.m.

DC-22-0002: Land Use Code text amendments related to Accessory ground mounted Solar Energy Systems

Public Meetings and Hearings

Public meetings will be posted as they are scheduled.

Board of County Commissions Public Meeting, 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023

Meeting details will be posted in late December.

Past Public Meetings and Hearings

Planning Commission Public Meeting, Oct. 19, 2022

On Oct. 19, 2022, staff presented proposed text amendments to Boulder County Land Use Code Article 4-516.K Accessory Solar Energy System creating a prescriptive path for accessory ground mounted systems to be permitted by the issuance of a building permit and other changes to the Code necessary to integrate the text amendment. View the DC-22-0002 Staff Report to Planning Commission, October 19, 2022. Planning Commission voted (7-0) to recommend to the Board of County Commissioners approval of Docket DC-22-0002.

Public Meeting on proposed Land Use Code Update regarding Accessory Solar Energy Systems, Sept. 22, 2022

Boulder County Community Planning & Permitting hosted a virtual information session on Sept. 22, 2022, on a proposed Land Use Code update DC-22-0002 which would allow an Accessory Solar Energy System to be constructed without Site Plan Review Waiver (SPRW), if certain parameters are met. This meeting included a presentation and overview of the proposed draft amendments for Accessory Solar Energy Systems, a Q&A period, and next steps. View the meeting presentation.

Public Comment Period Sept. 1 to 28, 2022

The public was invited to provide written comments on the draft Land Use Code text amendments through Sept. 28, 2022. All comments will be part of the public record and will be considered by staff in drafting the final recommended amendment text and will be provided to the Planning Commission and Board of County Commissioners for their consideration.

Background

Community Planning & Permitting staff is working on a proposed Land Use Code update related to Accessory Ground-Mounted Solar Uses. Ground-mounted accessory solar energy systems are addressed in Article 4-516(K) of the Land Use Code.

The Boulder County Land Use Code applies to the unincorporated portions of Boulder County, not in incorporated cities and towns.

The purpose of the Code amendment is to remove the requirement for Site Plan Review or Site Plan Review Waiver for small, accessory ground-mounted solar energy projects that meet certain parameters. The purpose of the text amendment is both to further reduce the barriers to the installation of onsite solar energy systems and to focusing planning reviews on the types of applications where review has the most impact.

The Accessory Solar Energy System use was added to the Land Use Code in November 27, 2018 and ground mounted systems have been reviewed through the Site Plan Review Waiver process since that time. These applications are generally approved with little controversy and staff believes that if adequate parameters are established in the Land Use Code the Site Plan Review Waiver process can be eliminated.

Staff intends to update relevant content in Articles 4 (Zoning), including Article 4-516.K Accessory Solar Energy System, of the Land Use Code and will make any other revisions necessary to integrate the changes. Some organizational changes and updates to the existing language may also needed to make the Code easier to navigate and utilize.

On April 26, 2022, the Board of County Commissioners authorized staff to pursue these text amendments.


Contact

Andrea Vaughn, Long Range Planner
303-441-1356

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